The Uplifters Inc.
Our Santa Monica Living Room, as seen in September 2006 Martha Stewart Living Photo: Victoria Pearson
About the Firm
11973 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
T 310-344-6700 http://www.lauraclaytonbaker.com
My interiors are spare, architectural, with a well ordered structure providing the bones. The spaces are warmed with soft inviting comfortable seating and made personal with pieces a client connects to, such as an interesting chair, artwork, arranged objects, and so on. I use natural fabrics, beautifully grained wood, and the focused use of color and pattern to enrich my interiors. I love spaces that feel relaxed, informal with a sense of being lived in. Each project maintains it’s own identity due to the tastes, needs, and possesions of each client. I enjoy traditional spaces as much as contemporary ones…you can see from my blog that my personal taste is diverse, yet there is a thread of simplicity running through all of it. All my projects include custom furniture, and cabinetry, in environmentally concious materials, that I design to suit each space. Kitchens and Bathroms are inherently a part of my overall design. Our mid-century home designed by Craig Ellwood has had a real influence on me, in the way he’s combined modern exposed structure with tactile natural materials. For many years I worked under my own name, Laura Clayton Baker Interiors, before incorporating as The Uplifters Inc in 2006. The scale of projects I’ve taken on ranges from a small bungalow in Venice, to a film production office for a firm of ten employees, to an estate in Montecito. On my web site you can see my work in Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, Architectural Digest, and House Beautiful.
View Complete Porfolio Of This Firm's Projects In The Image Gallery.
Montecito Family Room
Santa Monica Living Room
Brentwood Living Room
Film Production Company, Santa Monica
Venture Capital Reception
Venture Capital Entry/Conference
Bungalow Living Room, Venice, California: This tiny Living Room in a Venice Bungalow from 1922 needed to be many things. I designed this cabinetry wall to provide storage, visual interest, accomodate a television, and function as a home office. I wanted to keep the room as open and airy as possible, and without doors the full width of the room is experienced. The velvet chair in the foreground is vintage...refinished and recovered it's unrecognisable from its tattered past. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Family Room Seating Area, Montecito, California: My client wanted a casual place to relax with his family, inside of a very large high ceilinged contemporary space. We chose this slipcovered seating that is somewhat rumpled looking yet still modern. The seating at the left is comprised of two very wide chaises. The coffee table is limed, aging it and making it more accomodating to wear and tear. The carpet is a patchwork of various toned linen pieces, giving the room a less formal character, hiding dirt and being easy to mend. as needed. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Library, Montecito, California: This room is actually something of a wide hallway, yet the placement of the furnishings, and the way the architect, Michael Paladino placed the curved yellow wall at the end has turned it into a well used room. I've included it because I love the way the more traditional seating sits happily with the more contemporary, and the loose slipcovers help to unify the various pieces. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Living Room, Brentwood, California: In this room soft tactile furnishings warm up a minimal architectural space. The lichen colored velvet Italian chairs create interest. The heathering of the carpet breaks up the expanse of floor, while maintaining a modern character. The use of a chaise, and the curved Noguchi seating in the background give a more relaxed quality to the room, and opens up the seating to the spectacular view. The client acquired this Ross Bleckner painting, making the room unique and striking. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Studio, Santa Monica, California: In the back of our property, hidden behind trees, we built this studio. I designed it to echo our home, built in 1953, by Craig Ellwood. My friend, Architect Davida Rochlin provided working drawings. The siting of the studio required variation from the house, such as where the glass walls meets at a corner, but I kept key elements connecting the two...a flat roof, rhythm of the beams, overall height, glass walls, Douglas Fir ceiling, a wall that extends beyond the glass, and the overhang. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Studio Bookshelves, Santa Monica, California: This shows the bookshelves and cabinets I designed for the back wall of the studio. They're made of solid Douglas Fir, like the ceiling. I wanted the strong natural quality of the grain to show, instead of the vertical grain wood I used in the main house. The shelves were designed to float on the wall. The drawer sections are quite low, both so that they can double as a place to perch, and to make the ceiling seem higher. Here's a link to photos of my home office in the studio. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Master Bedroom, Santa Monica, California: In this view of our Master Bedroom the bed sits on a floating wall. I added that wall to the room in order to create a place for the Master Bath and closet to be situated behind the wall. I used the detail Craig Ellwood used throughout our house, of the 12" space between the top of the wall and the ceiling, with glass to separate rooms. The Robsjohn-Gibbings night table, and the African bench give character to a very simple architectural composition. Photo: Tim Street-Porter
Venture Capital Firm, Venice, California: My client, a venture capital firm based in Boston, leased this loft like space on Abbot Kinney as a branch office. They loved the Southern California openness, but it needed to function as an office. To create privacy as well as warmth I had rich wood veneer wall units made which could fit in below the beams. I chose a heavy linen as interior drapery for accoustical value, also creating privacy when required. Vintage surfing photos were selected to emphasise the California beach location. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Reception Area, Venture Capital Firm, Venice, California: The view towards the street shows the Reception Desk and the support position behind it.. Made of the same FSC sustainable veneer as the tall cabinetry in the photo above, the warm color of the wood contrasts with the cool concrete walls and floor. Mesh ergonomic seating was used throughout, to preserve the open sense of space. It relates well to the black mesh blinds that provide privacy, reduce the glare (the blinds are in the lower window in this photo), and allow a good view of the street. Photo: Laura Clayton Baker
Film Production Office, Santa Monica, California: This is the general office area for a film production company. My client wanted the office to have an old Soho loft character, raw, and unpretentious. I chose construction quality Douglas Fir for the desks to help create that character. The grain of the wood was used as a decorative element. The interior windows bring light into the central office, and the wood frames echo the material of the desks. I used rice paper pendant lamps from IKEA throughout, giving a warm glow and a casual appeal. Photo: Dominique Vorillon
Streamline Moderne Kitchen View 2 - In this view you can see the enlarged window (it started about 15" above the counter previously) and the coffee preparation area on the left.
Streamline Moderne Kitchen - This is a Kitchen I designed in a Hollywood Hills Streamline Moderne house. We gutted the existing Kitchen, using design elements from the Moderne aesthetic to create the new space. I played with the round theme inherent in Moderne design by custom making round inset pulls for the drawers and doors. I enlarged the window down to the counter for a greater sense of light and openess. The tilework behind the stove was intentionally designed to include something unresolved, imperfect.
Central Park West Kitchen View 2 - This is the other side of the Kitchen on Central Park West. You can see the steps to the Living Room at the left.
Central Park West Kitchen - This very small Kitchen is at the heart of a 3 bedroom penthouse apartment on Central Park West. We wanted all the details to make the most of the space we had to work with. The antique mirrors set into the doors above the sink enlarge the sense of space. The character of the cast metal pulls enhances the personality of the Kitchen. The color scheme carries through the apartment creating a calm continuity.